UCLA Baseball Set to Face Illinois-Chicago

June 2, 2007

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UCLA will take on Horizon League Champion and No. 4 seed Illinois-Chicago on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif. The Bruins defeated No. 3 seed Pepperdine, 7-3, Friday afternoon. UIC downed No. 1 seed Long Beach State, 4-1, in the nightcap.

UCLA - Gavin Brooks, LHP vs. UIC - Zach Peterson, RHP

UCLA's NCAA Regional games will be broadcast live online at no cost at uclabruins.com. Danny Lee and Tim Wilhelm will call the action live from Long Beach State's Blair Field. Each game can be followed online via CSTV's GameTracker at UCLA's website, uclabruins.com. A live video stream can also be accessed via uclabruins.com from the baseball schedule web page.

Friday, June 1
3 p.m. - Game 1: UCLA 7, Pepperdine 3
7 p.m. - Game 2: Illinois-Chicago 4, Long Beach State 1

Saturday, June 2
3 p.m. - Game 3: Long Beach State vs. Pepperdine
7 p.m. - Game 4: UCLA vs. Illinois-Chicago

Sunday, June 3
2 p.m. - Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
6 p.m. - Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Monday, June 4
6 p.m. - Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (if necessary)

UCLA has posted a 31-26 record and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 14-10 mark...the Bruins have never before played against the University of Illinois at Chicago...Cody Decker's three-run homer yesterday helped UCLA defeat Pepperdine, 7-3; Decker has hit 6-for-13 (.462) with one home run, one double and four RBI in four career postseason games...UCLA last won three games against Pepperdine in 1996 (Feb. 16-18, three-game series sweep)...in 51 NCAA Regional contests, the Bruins have recorded a 30-21 record; overall, UCLA has recorded a 30-27 mark in postseason play, including trips to the College World Series in 1997 and 1969...UCLA has advanced past the NCAA Regionals on three occasions - 2000, 1997 and 1969...with starts of 8-1 and 12-2 in Pac-10 play, UCLA registered its best conference start since finishing 10-0 in the Southern California Conference in 1924.

UCLA opened the season with an 8-14 mark before winning 19 of its next 23 games. The turnaround began March 25 against Pacific, as UCLA used a 14-run eighth inning to overcome an 8-1 deficit and win the contest, 15-8. The following weekend in the team's Pac-10 opening series at Stanford, third baseman Jermaine Curtis returned to the lineup and became the spark UCLA needed. The Bruins won 12 of their first 14 games with Curtis in the lineup and eventually soared to a 28-19 mark with a 4-1 victory at Pepperdine on March 8. UCLA raced to a 12-2 Pac-10 record by early May, as the Bruins won their first five conference games and eight of their first nine Pac-10 contests.

Freshman left-hander Gavin Brooks rescued the Bruins at Washington State two weeks ago and salvaged UCLA's three-game series against Oregon State last weekend. After the Bruins had dropped the first two games of each series, Brooks battled deep into both games to earn back-to-back victories. At Pullman, Wash., the left-hander limited WSU to five runs (two earned) and seven hits in 7.2 innings. Against Oregon State, Brooks hurled a three-hit complete game, allowing two runs (one earned).

UCLA has 12 players who have competed in an NCAA Tournament contest. Seniors Kevin Brophy, Tyson Brummett, Will Penniall, Paul Schmidt and Tim Stewart, junior Brant Rustich and sophomores Jermaine Curtis, Brandon Crawford, Ryan Babineau, Cody Decker, Tim Murphy and Jason Novak have each played in the postseason. Last season's trip to the NCAA Regionals marked the first postseason appearance for eight of these 12 Bruins.